Tag Archives: flower power

Making arrangements.

Yesterday was a lousy day in America. After some deeply disturbed coward in a Las Vegas hotel room left most of us feeling sad and hopeless, the office was silent. People on the street spoke of feeling vulnerable. I wound up at the grocery store wandering the aisles looking for plastic wrap and a friendly smile or two.

That’s when the Safeway floral department came into view. Colorful, living things—free from gun control debates, social media bullshit and the perpetual stress of trying to get by. Just pretty things that make human beings happy.

Suddenly, with a bouquet in my hands, the checker wanted to chat, neighbors stopped in their tracks to ask about the flowers and complete strangers nodded their heads when I passed by. I’ve never seen nine dollars go so far. Were people glad to see the flowers? Or happy to witness one human theoretically doing something nice for another? Maybe both? I suppose it doesn’t matter why people reacted—it’s just the simple fact that they showed signs of life on a day when so many were focused on the subject of death. And that’s noteworthy. Or, in this particular case, blog worthy.

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Move It: 2017 Edition

Back when all my worldly possessions amounted to a twin bed, a stack of CDs and a Mr. Coffee, I thought moving was fun. These days, things are a little different. With five bicycles, three grills and a small collection of non-Ikea, grown-up furniture, changing addresses is a stress-inducing hypothetical endeavor. Add a pretty lady, a big black dog and their stuff to the mix, and the subject of relocation is enough to inspire visions of a massive bonfire fueled by unnecessary household goods.

So when the landlord’s real estate sign went up in our yard back in June—roughly eight months after we moved in—the task before us seemed daunting. The Craigslist search. The big dog discussion. The you-want-how-much-for-the-deposit shock factor. The packing. The truck. The loading and unloading. But we did it. Mission accomplished. With a little help from a friend*. Now, as we dig our way out of the boxes, we’re up against the real-life limitations of physical space. We’ve stacked, stored, reconsidered and rearranged. I gave up on recovering the tape measure two weeks ago. I’ve come to terms with the idea of never owning a couch again. I hate shoes (other than the ones on my feet). Extra shirts seems extravagant. I find myself questioning why anyone would need more than two forks. All the things I’ve loved before are clutter and clutter is the enemy!

But one must remain calm. It’s the only option a relatively sane person has. In the end, we’re lucky to have a roof over our heads, a wonderful new neighborhood just beyond our front door and, of course, a magical sunflower watching over the entire process. Without the sunflower, I’m pretty sure the above mentioned bonfire would’ve been the first and only thing on my agenda.

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Cut from my lady’s garden at our previous address, this sunflower has kept me grounded.

* I hired a mover who happens to be a nice guy and by the end of the process I considered him a friend

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In bloom.

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The neon flowers of the bay area are alive and well around every corner. I snap pictures like a tourist and occasionally spot a theme among the many. In this case, Bougainvillea that’s so healthy it’s become an architectural element. Just one of the many reasons I’m proud to call this place home.

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Backyard bouquet.

My Midwestern upbringing taught me that counting on the beauty of outdoor plants can be a forecast for disappointment. With surprise snowstorms as late as May and the possibility of 100-degree temps in early April, flowers may pop but they rarely stick around for long.

So you can imagine my shock when the wild vegetation that’s overtaken our Oakland quarter-acre produced roses. Lots and lots of roses. Here are a few snapshots. While they’re nothing special in terms of photography, they’re meant to be a bright spot in bad news stream that’s dominated most computer screens for the last few months. Use accordingly.

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